Governance of Tenure

Governance of tenure newsletter - October 2021

20 October 2021

The “Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security” are referred to as the “Voluntary Guidelines" or the VGGT in this newsletter.

Land Tenure and Sustainable Agri-Food Systems


FAO in collaboration with UN-Habitat – Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) and the International Land Coalition (ILC) developed a policy paper on Land Tenure and Sustainable Agri-Food Systems.

World hunger increased in 2020, propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic. The prevalence of undernourishment rose from 8.4% to around 9.9% between 2019 and 2020. Between 720 and 811 million people in the world faced hunger in 2020 according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO (FAO et al., 2021).

In addition, when using the Food Insecurity Experience Scale, it is estimated that nearly one in three people in the world (2.37 billion) did not have access to adequate food in 2020 – a growth of almost 320 million people in just one year (FAO et al., 2021).

For full article

Geospatial Information for Digital Transformation conference, 27-29 October, Oslo

geospatial digital conference

The event organized by Kartverket (The Norwegian Mapping Authority), held over 3 days and attracted 491 registrations from 51 countries. The conference was focused on how geospatial information can contribute to digital transformation.

The conference focused on the future of National Mapping Authorities, the benefits from the integration of key registers, the implementation of the Integrated Geospatial Information Framework (IGIF) and the methodology on how to prepare a country level action plan.

The conference looked at the future developments, the use of new technologies, the use of drones, the spatial finance and the hybrid acquisition techniques.   

For full article

Open Tenure Trainings with UN-REDD in RDC and Colombia

open tenure trainings

FAO), within the framework of the UN-REDD Programme, recently organized practical training courses on the Open Tenure geospatial tool and its participatory methodology in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Colombia.

These trainings followed the Training of Trainers (ToT) format, which empowers local trainers with the skills and knowledge to replicate and host training sessions for the community and represent a kick-off of on-the-ground efforts to secure tenure rights for smallholders living in these forest contexts.

Participants in the trainings learned that the principles and process of using Open Tenure are just as, if not more, important than the hands-on manipulation of the tool itself.

For full article

Passage of long-awaited tenure reform in Niger

seminaire niger

An on-going aspiration in Niger since 1992, the Land Policy inspired by VGGT principles was finally adopted in Niger on 9 September 2021.

This operation which started in 2015 demonstrates that land tenure mechanisms need time, patience, technical support and a close follow-up at the Country level. The groundwork included a noteworthy participatory process led by a national multi-stakeholder committee established in 2017.

The "États généraux du foncier" – a high-level forum which took place in 2018 – took stock on the land tenure situation in Niger. This is proof that multi-stakeholder platforms and mechanisms can make the difference in building strong, inclusive tenure reform.

Another key factor was the mobilization of a national donor working group composed of 14 financial and technical partners, who met on a regular basis and created synergies complementing FAO’s support in obtaining this great achievement.

For full article

Mainstreaming VGGT in revision of 2013 Land Law in Viet Nam for more responsible tenure governance


The Information Centre for Agriculture and Rural Development (AGROINFO) of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development in Viet Nam examined in 2019-2021 how to mainstream and apply the VGGT principles and good practices in the process of amending the 2013 Land Law to achieve more responsible tenure governance.

Specific attention was paid to solutions and models of "land concentration" (defined as the process of increasing the agricultural land holding used and managed by an individual farmer and his/her family, or by an enterprise through sale or transfer, donation, inheritance) and "land accumulation" (defined as the process of increasing the area of agricultural land through measures that do not change the current distribution of land-use rights), including land acquisition to expand the production scale and agriculture land acquisition for public purposes.

Four workshops at local level were organized by AGROINFO to raise awareness on good land governance.

For full article

Support to Lao People's Democratic Republic in developing or revising sub-legislations under 2019 Land Law


FAO is providing support to the Government of Lao People's Democratic Republic in the crafting of relevant sub-legislations under the 2019 Land Law. This process is led by the Department of Land of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. FAO's support will ensure the mainstreaming of the principles and internationally recognized good practices of the VGGT, as well as building on the support provided and the network of partners at the time of drafting the land law.

The Department of Land has identified four sub-legislations to be a priority for revision, namely the Ministerial Instruction on Land Registration and Land Titling, the Ministerial Instruction on Cadastral Survey and Mapping, the Ministerial Instruction on Registration of Activities and Change of Land Use Rights, and the Ministerial Instruction on the Land Valuation System is optional.

For full article

Land tenure continues to be major objective of development agenda

capitalization meeting

With a total of 65 participants (37% women) from 14 countries (Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Pakistan, Sudan and Uganda) the 10th and last Capitalization Meeting of the EU Land Governance Transversal Project, was virtually delivered due to COVID-19.

Held in English and French, in March and April 2021, the session focused on key results, success factors, lessons learnt, key challenges to improving the governance of tenure and sustainability of project impacts. It also reviewed results of country level projects, resource mobilization and impact of COVID-19 on socioeconomic development and on land rights, and capacity and learning needs assessment.

For full article

New Publications


Responsible land-based investments in the Mekong region

A comparative analysis of the legal frameworks of Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam

This study aims at providing an assessment of the legal frameworks in the four countries to analyse whether safeguards for legitimate tenure rights and tenure right holders can be identified in legal provisions applicable to decisions related to land-based investments in agriculture.


FAO support of multi-stakeholder platforms on land tenure governance

Innovative practices from the field and building on experience

As part of the efforts to find sustainable solutions to complex land tenure issues, multi-stakeholder platforms (MSPs) create an inclusive forum where actors can discuss problems and propose solutions to improve governance of tenure and provide better access to natural resources. This publication highlights how MSPs at regional, national and local level demonstrate forward thinking, including innovative practices and approaches to respond to the above mentioned social challenges, for the benefit of all.


The Voluntary Guidelines: Securing our rights - Niger

Success stories

The guide will chart the lessons learned from applying the VGGT in Niger. Stakeholders from countries, such as Chad, Guinea, Mali and Mauritania seek inspiration from Niger to improve governance of tenure, providing an important source of inspiration. The document will also be a reference for different donors and partners interested in tenure governance in Niger.


The Voluntary Guidelines: Securing our rights - Senegal

Success stories

The guide will serve as documentation of the lessons learnt from the experiences of making use of the VGGT and in Senegal. As stakeholders from countries, such as Guinea, Mali and Mauritania seek inspiration from Senegal to improve governance of tenure in their own country context, this document will be an important source of inspiration. The document will also be a reference for different Donors and Partners interested in tenure governance in Senegal.


Voluntary Guidelines: Securing our rights - Colombia

Success stories

This publication is part of the series "Success Stories" and presents the good practices in land tenure in Colombia through the application of the VGGT by FAO projects between 2014 and 2021, especially in the context of improving governance and reducing conflicts in protected areas, strengthening communities in terms of their rights to land tenure, and restoring the territorial rights of indigenous and/or Afro-descendant communities.

Also available in French | Spanish


Guidelines on strengthening gender equality in land registration

Southeast Europe 2021

The present Guidelines form part of a joint effort by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to help countries achieve indicator 5.a.2 of Target 5.a in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations in 2015.

Also available in Bosnian | Montenegrin | Albanian | Macedonian | Serbian


Notarial practices in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Strengthening gender equality in land ownership and control

The country level guideline’s aim is to provide practical guidance to notaries when handling issues pertaining to gender sensitive property transactions. The purpose of the national guidelines is to help notaries and other legal professions to mitigate the effects of gender discrimination through the services that they provide across the country, raise awareness on women’s rights, and anticipate any risks that might occur in the enjoyment of property rights by women.

Also available in Kosovan | Montenegrin | Albanian | Macedonian | Serbian


Applying mediation in customary land tenure disputes

Lessons from Eswatini

The report documents experiences in developing the capacity of key stakeholders in mediation to provide an effective framework for dealing with disputes in customary tenures. Its publication will ensure that the lessons learned are shared with a wider audience.


Best practices, challenges and emerging issues on improving responsible governance of tenure. Lessons learned from the European Union Land Governance Programme

Final Report

This report on lessons learnt, best practices, challenges, and emerging issues on improving responsible governance tenure using the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) and the African Union’s Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa (F&G), related to the European Union Land Governance Programme is based on in-country project progress reports and minutes of transversal capitalization meetings carried out throughout the project phases.

Also available in French | Spanish


Guide pour l’amélioration de la gouvernance des régimes fonciers pastoraux au Mauritaine

Guide d'accompagnement

Ce guide en image est le fruit d’un processus participatif et inclusif de Renforcement des capacités des Comités régionaux de transhumance qui ont réuni plus de 90 participants (pasteurs/éleveurs, administration territoriales, conseils régionaux, structures techniques décentralisées des différents départements ministériels clefs, les organisations de la société civile, ainsi que les représentants de projets et les organisations non gouvernementales (ONG) au niveau des Willayas pastorales).

Also available in Arabic


Guide pour l’amélioration de la gouvernance des régimes fonciers pastoraux au Mali

Guide d'accompagnement

Ce guide en image est le fruit d’un travail de contextualisation du guide technique «Améliorer la gouvernance des terres pastorales» mené par les deux partenaires Coordination Nationale des Organisations Paysannes (CNOP) et Association du Centre Sahélien de Prestations, d’Etudes, d’Ecodéveloppement et de Démocratie Appliquée (CSPEDDA) ainsi que leurs partenaires selon un processus participatif.


Les acquis de la loi pastorale Ordonnance 2010-029 relative au pastoralisme et ses décrets d’application

Document de réflexion dans le cadre de l’élaboration de la politique foncière rurale de la République du Niger

La présente étude a été réalisée sur 18 jours. Elle a permis d’identifier les acquis du code pastoral dans le but de faciliter l’élaboration de la politique foncière. De façon plus large, elle s’inscrit également dans le cadre de la mise en œuvre des Directives volontaires pour une gouvernance responsable des régimes fonciers applicables aux terres, aux pêches et aux forêts.



A wide variety of e-learning courses are available on the Responsible Governance of Tenure. Learn about:

  • making access to land, fisheries and forests more equitable
  • how to protect people's tenure rights
  • options to simplify the administration of tenure and make it accessible to all
  • how to ensure disputes are resolved before they degenerate into conflict